Author Archives: Dani Middleton

About Dani Middleton

I was born in Brazil in 1981 and lived there for 23 years before emigrating to the UK in 2005. I had read about England’s history since a young age however I moved here purely due to the history of London itself. Everything in this city fascinates me; from its parks, pubs and buildings to street names, post boxes and bollards. Watching children “beating the bounds” or the rose ceremony, you can never be tired of London. I love the quirkiness of the little alleys, the secrets of the forgotten architecture and how wonderful it can be to simply turn a corner and suddenly find a whole new world. I have worked in some remarkable places in London: museums, palaces, galleries, archives, even digging for the MoL on the Thames foreshore but I now work for Tower Bridge where, daily, I can see the City from a different point of view. Working for the City, learning its history and stories makes me eager to learn more. London is a flowing, living organism, with the old and new together transforming it every day, but always with its history at your fingertips. One step, an intricate Victorian coal hole; another step, an old Police box; yet another, an office block built seamlessly onto an old roman ruin. I am just a girl, lost in London trying not to find the way out but a way deeper, further inside what makes this city so… special, so… unique, so… me. I am a Londoner.

.’. Major General Thomas Harrison .’.

He was the first of the signatories of Charles I’s Death Warrant to be executed.

​Tied to a sledge he was pulled from Newgate Prison to Charing Cross. On ascending the scaffold, he refused to repent.

He was hanged with a short drop, once his body had stopped thrashing about he was cut down, and as he regained consciousness his shirt was pulled away. The executioner then cut of his genitals, which were shown to him, then thrown into a bucket. He was held down while a red-hot metal was forced into his stomach.
While his innards were being burned in front of him, Harrison swung a punch and caught the executioner off-guard. The embarrassed executioner lost his temper and killed Harrison.
Harrison’s head was severed, his heart cut out, and his body cut into four pieces.
He was the first of the signatories of Charles I’s Death Warrant to be executed.n ascending the scaffold, he refused to repent.

He was hanged with a short drop, once his body had stopped thrashing about he was cut down, and as he regained consciousness his shirt was pulled away. The executioner then cut of his genitals, which were shown to him, then thrown into a bucket. He was held down while a red-hot metal was forced into his stomach.

While his innards were being burned in front of him, Harrison swung a punch and caught the executioner off-guard. The embarrassed executioner lost his temper and killed Harrison.

Harrison’s head was severed, his heart cut out, and his body cut into four pieces.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

.’. Chimney .’.

Tower Bridge is full of hidden secrets, one of them is this lovely Chimney. 

At first glance it just looks like one of the blue lamp posts along the Bridge, but this is a chimney connected to a room below that was once used by the Royal Fusiliers protecting the Tower of London. 

To keep them warm they used the fireplace inside the guards room during their stay while protecting the Tower. 

London Clean Air Act came into force on 1956 after the Great Smog of 1952…and with that many Chimneys lost their use as only smokeless fuel was aloud in urban areas. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

.’. Echoes Across the Century .’.

There is this exhibition at Guildhall Art Gallery that explores personal stories of those involved in the First World War. 

I saw the exhibition a few times this week as I work there. I saw many exhibitions in my many years of working at Museums and Galleries but this one piece in this exhibition made my heart sink, made me think, made me cry alone at the Gallery, made me want to know this people, made me want to go home and hold the ones I love forever.

Collection of Tears by Jessie Ellman created in 1917 after the death of Lt. W.G. Hicks.

Bellow some of the sayings…

  • When we stood beneath the stars.
  • The kiss by the church.
  • Thinking of the day you asked me to marry.
  • I shall miss you so much.
  • Your last message of love 
  • The day I first saw you in uniform and realised it was real.
  • The day you left for France.
  • Everyday when I was afraid for you and had no news.
  • Dreams of our wedding day and our love.
  • The dead of all my hoped and dreams.
  • When they said they had news of you, and you had died. 3rd July 1917.

Leave a comment

Filed under Coal Holes

.’. The Mercers’ Maiden – Corbet Court .’.

The Mercers’ Maiden is the symbol and the coat of arms of the Company.

She first appears on a seal in 1425. Her precise origins are unknown, and there is no written evidence as to why she was chosen as the Company’s emblem.

She always adorns the exterior walls of buildings on sites that belongs to the company.

 The one here is the earliest surviving Maiden property mark dating from 1669. It was reinstated on this site during redevelopment in 2004. 

You can find the map of all of them HERE and have some fun finding then.

Leave a comment

Filed under Coal Holes

.’. Cousin Lane Drinking Fountain .’.

In an attempt to improve the water quality in London the Metropolis Water Act of 1852 made a “provision for securing the supply to Londo  of pure and wholesome water”.

Around the same time the “Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association” was formed. The only agency fir providing free supplies of water for man and beast in the streets of London. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Coal Holes

.’. Unsung Heroes of Tower Bridge.’.

Discover the unsung heroes who have kept Tower Bridge in motion for over 120 years.

From coal stockers to cooks, visiting Tower Bridge and the Victorian Engines will take you back in time and make you feel how history is engraved in every corner of this iconic building. 

The new Walk of Fame is my favorite stop now…looking a lot like an old victorian Coalhole the walk shows you names of people who worked at the Bridge directing you to the old victorian Engines.

Know more about the People of Tower Bridge.

Leave a comment

Filed under Coal Holes

.°. Monument Street.°.

I wonder what is going on at Pudding Lane near the Monument of the Great Fire.
Did they find something old?Any relation to the Roman Baths @ Billinsgate?
Whatever it is I am curious now to know what is bellow.
350 years ago we had the Church of Saint Margareth of New Fish Street that was destroyed at the 1666 Great Fire…and never rebuilt.

image

Leave a comment

Filed under Coal Holes